Chamber Music, Clarinet, Strings/9'/Difficulty - Really hard/2000
for violin, clarinet, cello, and piano
Full Set (9x12 paper)
PDF Full Set (digital)
Listen to Breakdown TangoView the score
Live performance by University of Michigan faculty
This work (called “darkly dramatic” by the New York Times, and “an appealing, and at times wonderfully trashy piece” by The Clarinet Magazine), has a virtuosic beginning and ending, with a peculiar tango sandwiched in the middle. It’s a bit more jagged than my earlier pieces. The choreography, by Robert Battle (now Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), is really, really fantastically odd.
There is now a commercially-available recording of the work available on the Innova label. Gramophone Magazine described the work by saying, “Certainly one would be hard pressed to find a better piece than John Mackey’s Breakdown Tango…”
This work was the source of material for Redline Tango.